Mark Purdy of the Mercury News has a good, detailed story that cuts through a lot of the fog about the future of the Athletics in Oakland. Which, he notes, is inextricably tied up with the Raiders’ future in Oakland. Put simply, the city can have one team, but not the other for a lot of complicated but, ultimately, compelling reasons.
The A’s, it seems, are going to build a new stadium on the site of the Coliseum or they’re going to play in a different city. There seems no escaping that fact. Major League Baseball, therefore, needs to be sure that there is a city that it and every other owner can get behind if the Raiders get what they want before the A’s get what they want.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Diamondbacks and reliever T.J. McFarland have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $1.45 million salary for the 2019 season. McFarland, in his third of four years of arbitration eligibility, filed for $1.675 million while the Diamondbacks countered at $1.275 million. McFarland ended up settling for just under the midpoint of those two figures.
McFarland, 29, was terrific out of the bullpen for the D-Backs last season, finishing with a 2.00 ERA and a 42/22 K/BB ratio in 72 innings. While the lefty may not miss a lot of bats, he does induce quite a few grounders. His 67.9 percent ground ball rate last season was the third highest among relievers with at least 50 innings, trailing only Brad Ziegler (71.1%) and Scott Alexander (70.6%).
McFarland was dominant against left-handed hitters, limiting them to a .388 OPS last season, but the D-Backs deployed him nearly twice as often against right-handed hitters, who posted an aggregate .764 OPS against him. It will be interesting to see if the club decides to use him more as a platoon reliever in 2019.